The arrest of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is being hailed throughout the world as a victory for international justice. And now that the 63-year-old war crimes suspect is in custody, attention is focussing on what will happen next.
Karadzic’s lawyers have three days to appeal against his arrest on Monday. They are also likely to try to oppose his transfer to the UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague, where he faces a string of charges including genocide.
Court spokeswoman Olga Kavran said: “What will happen is that, in a day or two, he will be brought in front of the judges in a proceeding we call an initial appearance where he will be given an opportunity to plead in relation to the charges against him, and those charges are many. Following that, there will be a pre-trial hearing, after which the judges will schedule a trial.”
However, for many Serbs, the Tribunal is biased and prone to laying all the blame for the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo at the feet of Serbia.
If found guilty of the charges against him, Karadzic is likely to live out the rest of his days in prison -the same one where his friend and mentor Slobodan Milosevic died while on trial in 2006.
The world’s media are already gathering in anticipation of Karadzic’s arrival at the end of the week.